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APRIL 29, 1836.)
tended by this provision of the constitution. The power every part of the public revenue, to be disposed of as to establish post offices surely does not authorize Con- mentioned in the bill; and well may the committee gress to build houses for each post office in the United doubt, for no money can be drawn from the Treasury States. Such a construction no one, I presume, would but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and contend for; yet I can see no difference in the two cases. | all appropriations must be, as the friends of the bill on Upon the whole, then, I conclude that roads, canals, and a former occasion rightfully contended, made for some works of internal improvement of a like kind, are not specific and certain purpose, and such purpose clearly such works as Congress can rightfully construct with the within the granted power of Congress. To this docmoney of the nation. But, sir, I can readily conceive trine I do not object; it is the only safe doctrine for this works which Congress can order; and it is from the Government to pursue; and it would be far better, and nature and use to which the object is to be applied, and more satisfactory to the country, should Congress adnot from its extension or quantity, that gives Congress here to it more strictly in future, than has been done in this right. A ship of war is a national work; therefore, times that are past; but like all other sound texts in the Congress can order sbips of war to be built. The cast. | hands of commentators, it can be construed to cover ing of a cannon ball, and the making a musket, are also the worst of purposes. It is attempted, however, to national works; and even the printing the journals of this get over this objection--the want of specific object in body. Congress car, therefore, have all this done; and drawing this money from the Treasury-by endeavoring so of every other object which is absolutely necessary to to prove that there is a difference in the exercise of the carry on the operations of this Government. The quan. power of Congress over moneys in the Treasury, arising tity, as well as the time and manner of performing the from the sale of public lands, and that received from work, is altogether within the discretionary power of other sources; but in this attempt I think the committee Congress; and to all these objects, and none other, can have entirely failed. I object, then, to the passage of this power cr the money of this Government be right this bill, because, in the first place, it makes no appro. fully extended.
priation at all, for there is no purpose mentioned in the I have thus far considered the report of the commit. bill to which the money is to be applied. But should I tee, and have shown, I trust, that the public lands of the waive this, and consider the distribution to the States a United States are not revenue, and that they were not sufficient designation, I would still contend that this is ceded to the United States, as trustee, for the benefit of no appropriation for any definite object, or for any purthe States severally, but for the use and benefit of the pose over which Congress can exercise any constituUnited States, as Government property; nor were the tional authority whatever. I wish to be clearly and disdeeds of cession accepted as trustee, but as an indepen- tinctly understood on this point. The distribution of dent sovereignty, the land to be disposed of in such any part of the revenue to the States, whether the same manner as Congress should think expedient; but when be called surplus, or by any other name, will be an unsold and converted into money, that money becomes authorized act of Congress, because Congress have no part of the revenue of the country, and is, to all intents power to compel the States to apply the money to any and purposes, in the same condition, to be disposed of specific object; for I presume no one will contend that in the same manner, and none other, as moneys receiv. | Congress can coerce State legislation. If the money, ed into the Treasury from taxes, customs, or any other then, is appropriated to the States, it surely must be source. I am glad to be informed that I am not alone in without constitutional authority, because it is not given this opinion. I find in the Debates on this question, in for the defence, protection, or welfare of the United 1832, which has this moment been put into my hands by States; nor is any other object whatever designated, to a friend, the same opinion expressed by an honorable which it is to be applied, over which Congress can have Senator of exalted intellect, commanding talents, and the least control. I remind gentlemen of the three milgreat power in debate, and whose speeches I have read | lion appropriation, passed by the House at the last ses. not only with admiration, but delight; and when I say sion, and sent to the Senate for concurrence, which was this, I need hardly inform the Senate that that gentle strongly objected to as unconstitutional; not because the man was from South Carolina. “Mr. Hayne moved to use contemplated by the bill, to which the money was strike out the words which provide for the distribution to be applied, was not within the power of Congress, but of the proceeds (public lands) amongst the States. He because the appropriation was not sufficiently specific. was opposed to the introduction of the principle of dis Yet that appropriation was to be applied by the Presi. tributing the revenue among the States. He insisted | dent to fortifications, increase of the navy, and general that the proceeds of the public lands did constitute a expense of the country, should circumstances occur part of the revenue. The clause which he moved to making its expenditure necessary before the next meetstrike out cut off a part of the public revenue, taking it ling of Congress. But so obnoxious to the constitution from the Treasury to divide it among the States;" and was it deemed, that if an enemy was battering the very further, in reply to the Senator from Kentucky, (Mr. walls of the Capitol, gentlemen would not vote it to Clay,) Mr. Hayne contended, “that if the construction save them. I think we have the right to expect their of that Senator was correct, there was no limitation to votes now, when the constitution, according to their the powers of the general Government, and they might doctrine and understanding of it, is threatened with a be exercised under a wild discretion, the extent of thousand times more deadly assault than that which they which could not be anticipated or controlled. He as. | feared in the three million appropriation, and that they serted there ought not to be any surplus money in the I will step forward at once to its rescue. Here is an apTreasury, but that care should be taken to regulate the propriation, or at least an application, to take from the taxes, so as to have no unnecessary amount in the Treas. Treasury of the United States nearly thirty millions of ury.” It seems to me that this argument ought to have 1 dollars. It is asked for without its being applied by forever settled this question; but, unfortunately, it has ) Congress to any specific purpose under heaven; but not. It remains now that we inquire whether the mo-l placed under the power of men over whom Congress ney called the surplus in the Treasury, should it be ad- has no earthly control, and by whom it may be used for mitted to be altogether the proceeds of the public lands, that purpose which we have so often heard mentioned can constitutionally be drawn from the Treasury, and the dissolution of the Union itself, and the destruction distributed to the several States, as contemplated by the of the very Government which bestows it. But this is bill before us. The report of the committee itself not all. Congress, by this act, becomes the evil genius seems to doubt the unlimited power of Congress over l of the country, instead of its benefactor; because, the SENATE.]
(APRIL 29, 1836.
money being collected of all the citizens, without object directly to the payment of State officers as additional or necessity, it seems to be admitted that Congress can- salaries, allowing to each such sum as shall be deemed not devise the means by which this ill-gotten treasure just, to be paid out of the Treasury of the United States shall be returned to those from whom it was actually on the warrant of such officer. taken; it is, therefore, concluded to return it to a part! There is another view of this subject still more appalonly. This money has been collected from the poor ling. It is true that Congress, by the constitution of the and laboring classes, in (comparatively speaking) small United States, have no power to make any law respectquantities; it is to be returned in masses to the States, ing an establishment of religion, or prohibitiog the free and I defy the ingenuity of man--at least man as he now exercise thereof; but if Congress have power to create exists--to prevent it, under this process, from passing a surplus revenue, and power to make a distribution of into the hands of the more wealthy and speculating the same, they can in effect render null and void this part. And we shall surely find that the appropriation provision of the constitution; they can distribute this by the States of money collected by this Government, money to any church or sect they please, and thus, as far and distributed to them, will be to make the rich more as money and the favor of the Government will answer, wealthy and to keep the laboring classes in perpetual | give such church or sect the ascendency, whether the indigence. It is a palpable truth that the real wealth of same be Protestant or Catholic. It is said money answers a country must arise from the actual labor of the coun- all things. Congress can then, by its use, make an estry. Trade is always fictitious, and in this country this tablishment of religion. There can be no doubt on this fact is true to a proverb; and it is also true, that the subject, if Congress possesses the power to make the great body of our laborers are agriculturists, and our distribution as contemplated by the bill. I feel confident greatest staples are the products of the earth. All that that I have not extended the argument further than the this productive class of men ask of Government is, to premises will warrant; and I now seriously put the quesprovide for their security; for the earnings of their tion to every member of this body, if he is prepared to daily toil; that, when the evening sun shall go down, say that, by virtue of the power vested in him by the they may rest in quiet, and none, by force or fraud, constitution of the United States, he has the right to vote private or public, be permitted to rob them of their an appropriation of money to be paid out of the Treasury labor, or disturb their repose; they ask not, they want of the United States for any of the purposes which i not, gifts or gratuities from the Government, because have mentioned. I do not believe there is one Senator they well know that the means of bestowment must be who will openly and positively avow such right. We the oppression of their own or a foreign country. test principles by their application to individual cases;
If we are to consider the distribution contemplated by take, then, a single case. A bill is presented making an the bill as a mere gratuity on the part of this Govern appropriation of money for the payment of the salary of ment, and that Congress has no power to define the the Governor of Ohio, with the condition that it shall be purposes to which the States shall apply it-and this in full, and that he shall not receive any other pay or principle seems to be admitted by the bill itself-) should emolument from the State, or without any condition be glad to know what could prevent Congress from dis- whatever. Such a bill would not, I am sure, receive a tributing to twenty-four individuals, or any other num. single vote in this body; and yet, if we pass this bill, we ber, this money, instead of a distribution among the are doing that indirectly, which we would not dare to States. I can see no difference in the principle govern- do directly, by creating or appointing an agent to reing the two cases; and the exercise of power, in my view ceive this money, who has the power to apply it to the of the subject, is as clearly unconstitutional in the one very purpose above mentioned. The bill, as amended case as the other, though a distribution to individuals by the committee, is more objectionable on this account would so shock the moral sense of every man that, with than the original, for that required an application of the one united voice, it would be declared that Congress money to certain specified objects; and, if Congress had had most grossly violated the constitution, as well as power to apply money to these objects, there may be a been guilty of an act of moral turpitude.
color of right in the idea that Congress may designate To bestow money as an act of government, and leave the agent to make its application. The bill before us, its application to the recipients, is one of the first, and bowever, opens the very flood-gates of corruption, for commonly the surest, means that despots resort to, not it establishes the doctrine that Congress may levy upon only to gain, but secure power, and strengthen their the people of the United States any sum or sums of hold in every country where despotism has existed; and money they may think proper, and bestow, or, to use it is despotism in any Government-I care not by what the language of the bill, distribute any part thereof name it is called to exercise the power of collecting when and to whom it pleases. I deny the whole power money of the people more than sufficient to defray the of this Government to collect and distribute a surplus necessary expenses of the country, and bestowing or revenue. The next question is, can the States rightfully, dividing the surplus, according to its own pleasure, either and in conformity to their own constitutions, permit amongst States, corporations, or individuals.
Congress to become their almoner, and accept this profIf Congress has the power to divide a part of the fered bounty? This is an important consideration for revenue collected by this Government amongst the the States themselves. Have they so divested themSiates, the right certainly exists to require the States to selves of power as to be made the mere and inactive remake such application of the money as Congress sballcipients of the bounty of this Government, and suffer think proper. Such, indeed, was the principle of the their own treasury to be replenished by whosoever is original bill in this case, and it must be, that, under this disposed to do so? Must they permit individuals, banks, claim of power, Congress can direct and control State or even foreign Governments, to pour into their treaslegislation; can require the different State Legislatures uries such sums of money as shall be thought proper, as to apply the money in payment of Governor, Judges, a mere and naked gratuity to the State! I am clearly and other officers of the State Government; and even of opinion that no State Government in this Union ought the payment of their own wages. Congress can still go to open the doors of their treasury for any such purone step further; they can direct the payment in such pose; for the accepting or rejecting of gifts is a private sums as they may think proper, and in addition to the and individual power, not transferable to the representsalaries allowed by the States. If the doctrine of divid- ative of a State, because the act is matter of conscience, ing the surplus revenue be once admitted as correct, I not of law. cannot see wby Congress has not the power to apply it! But if the States are to have any agency in this distriAPRIL 29, 1836.]
bution, if it is necessary for them to do any thing in con If, however, any one should believe that Congress posformity to the act of Congress to enable them to take sesses the power, in the imposition of taxes, duties, cusand possess this surplus revenue, I hold that such act toms, and excise, or in any other manner, to collect would be in contravention of the tenth section of the first more funds than will be necessary to pay the debts and article of the constitution of the United States, because provide for the common defence and general welfare of it would be a treaty of confederation with another Gov. the United States, for the purpose of distributing the ernment; and the States surely intended to divest them surplus amongst the states in their separate and individ. selves of this power by accepting the constitution of the ual character, I would still insist that the exercise of United States, for its exercise had led, and would con such power would be highly impolitic, unjust, and dantinue to lead, to inextricable difficulties and dangers to gerous to the safety and happiness of the country. It is the equal rights of the States, as well as to their peace with States as individuals; the possession of money, withand union. To levy and collect taxes, duties, and im out the application of their own means for its attainment, posts, is an attribute of the sovereign power of a country. almost universally produces a disposition to idleness and Congress could not have exercised it but by express premature decay. 'No possible plan could, in my opingrant. The States, having granted it to Congress so far ion, be better devised for the prostration of the State as the grant extends and is exclusive, cannot exercise | Governments, and the establishment of centralism and the power themselves; but the divestment of power by eventual consolidation, than this: what at first is granted the States would be an idle ceremony, if the same pow. | as a gratuity, arising out of temporary causes, will soon er can be exercised by Congress for the benefit of the be claimed as matter of right and justice, and insisted on States; and thus would there be two distinct and separate until it shall obtain permanency of character, and be powers, each possessing the right of raising a revenue deemed essential to the existence of the State Governoff the people for the same object and purposes--a con- | ments; and thus the very existence of the States will dedition to which, if rightly understood, I am sure the pend on the bounty of Congress. I am well aware that people would never submit; and thus the States, by the direct payment of the salaries of State officers, by an creation of this Government for special ends, would only act of Congress, would, at first, as has been observed, keep the word of promise to the ear, but break it to the shock the moral sense of the community, and defeat the sense. This is the first attempt, since the formation of very object to be gained. We are about to give the the constitution-the existence of this Government-to money in a more coy and coquettish manner; we begin bestow money collected as revenue gratuitously upon by saying it is the money of the people, and, having no the States. It is a new invention to rid ourselves of use for it here, we will return it to those who paid it. money which, through mistaken policy, has been im We in the next breath acknowledge that this cannot properly collected in the Treasury. And as error con in fact be done, and we conclude to give it in masses stantly begets error, multiplying in size as well as num to the States, to be disposed of as they think expediber as it progresses, the error of a protective tariff begot ent. This squeamishness will soon wear off, and we the greater error called the compromise bill, by which shall shortly find more open attempts made to debauch it is claimed that in the passage of that bill Congress the States, and the States themselves will accept the made an agreement or bargain, by way of compromise price of their prostitution, as a business matter necessaamongst the members with each other, by which more ry to their existence. Having the large sums of money money has been brought into the Treasury than is ne. which this bill proposes to place at their disposal, the cessary for the legitimate expenses of the Government; State Legislatures may quickly see a great propriety in and it is now insisted that the law passed in pursuance of an increase of salaries and wages of the State officers; this agreement ought not now to be interfered with; and and although there may be a little higgling about it at to remedy the evil occasioned by this law-a surplus first, yet the propriety of an increased compensation to revenue in the Treasury--instead of repealing or amend. themselves will soon appear evident--this will be almost ing the law, it is proposed to distribute it amongst the a matter of course; while to blind the eyes of the people, States, which would be a still more palpable and dan
a reduction of taxes will take place. "Lead us not into gerous error.
temptation.” Although we may forget this excellent The very silence which has so long existed under this prayer here, I fervently hope that it may be remembered Government as to the power of Congress, as contempla
by the States. ." The love of money is the root of all ted by the bill, is strong and almost conclusive proof, to
evil.” This principle and patriotism cannot dwell tomy mind, that the power does not exist. - I have looked gether; they will never be found in the same breast; they in vain into the report of the committee for the provisionare antipodes to each other, and cannot be brought toof the constitution on wbich they intend to rest'this bill. gether; and money, like every other witching concern of The report to me, however, on this point, is a sealed life, the possession of it creates the desire for more. Lebook. The honorable chairman can, no doubt, turn us | gislative bodies are men, and subject to all the frailties at once to that grant of power on which the committee of men in other situations, and if an ass laden with gold relied for the passage of an act of Congress for the rais could open the gates of a city which the conqueror of ing more money than sufficient for all the purposes of Greece could not force, what may we not expect that this Government, and distributing the surplus to the money can and will do in these degenerate times, when several States. I hope, however, we shall not be told gain is evidently the ruling passion of the land? that it is to be found in that clause of the constitution Suppose, sir, that the bank, called the Bank of the
Suppose, sir, th which gives to Congress the power to provide for the United States, should offer to distribute to the several common defence and general welfare of the United States some millions of its ill-gotten wealth, on the ground States. This provision, which, upon every fair principle that the people of the States were entitled to it, because of construction, can only be viewed as a declaration of the bank had collected a surplus in the mode that instithe manner in which the following granted specific pow. tution has adopted in raising a revenue: should it go one ers shall be exercised, has been so often pressed into ser- step further-offer to become a subscriber to every corvice for other purposes, that it can now be made to al. 1 poration in the States, and, under the doctrine of vested most prove whatever may be desired. It is a kind of rights, thus acquire not only a foothold, but a freehold Swiss corps, to serve wherever the highest reward can | in each State; no State ought for a moment to hesitate be obtained. I cannot, however, admit its service in the in rejecting this harlotory embrace, this unnatural condistribution of a surplus revenue; and I can see no other | nexion, the issue of which would be a monster, abhorprovision of the constitution the advocates of this bill can I red and hated by all just and good men; and although rely on for support.
[APRIL 29, 1836,
it might for a time acquire a rickety growth, yet its de. the land the seeds of that corrupting influence which formity could never be hidden. And the moment that most end in the subserviency of the States, and the conpatriotism, virtue, and love of country should gain the solidation of all power in the hands of those who have ascendency, its power and influence would be in a mo. the means and the will to collect money without limitament driven from the land. One State, it is feared, has tion, and distribute it to whom and when they please; for already fallen; and that State, too, which has heretofore when this bill passes, the last nail will have been driven been considered the pride, strength, and glory of our into the coffin of State sovereignty. Union. Its democratic citizens, it is yet hoped, will re It seems to me there cannot exist a doubt but that the deem themselves from this thraldom, and will shiver in- distribution of any part of the public revenue amongst to a thousand atoms the fetters with which it is attempt the States, will be the means of changing the relations ed to bind them; that they will grind the golden, calf to now existing between the General Government and powder, strew it upon water, and compel its votaries to them. That the change of that relation will be the dedrink thereof.
struction of one Government or the other, I bave no If the potency of money in the hands of a bank is of doubt. I am myself of opinion that the State Governsuch dangerous tendency, when improperly used, what ments will be the victims; but it is possible, in the nature may we expect and look for from the same cause, when of things, that the reverse may be the case. That money the United States is the agent to carry on the operations which is collected by this Government by indirect taxa.
As you lessen the necessity for the States relying on tion, when sent into the States, may influence the peotheir own means and exertions for their support, you l ple to view this Government as a fit instrument for the destroy their ability to do so; their increasing weakness collection of money that may be used for the promotion becomes the strength of this Government, and thus ena of individual interest or the advancement of State powbles it to supply additional means to make the States er, and be used to operate on elections, so as constantly still more weak. The very money you bestow, although to send to Congress men who will be under an obligation it may make the State rich in a pecuniary point of view, not to repeal the system, but to extend and increase it. yet those very riches will be the bane of equality and in such case, the necessary appropriations for the army, freedom. Suppose the money you bestow should be navy, or even the civil Jist, may be so neglected or resufficient to enable the State to become the owner of duced, as to impede and weaken all the operations of every canal and leading road in its jurisdiction, and to this Government. Large and powerful States that will, hold the same as Government property; the first result under this system of distribution, receive the greatest would be a host of officers to "eat out the substance of sums, may find it to their interest to continue the same, the people, and destroy their living;" the next to bring and push it to the utmost extent; and by this means may, into existence a class of men who would of course be in time, be able to overawe the power of the confederacome the tenants, laborers, and dependants of the Gov.cy, and set it at defiance, and thus become the sole ar. ernment, instead of being free citizens of the State. biters of the fate of this country. Many gentlemen, for When Government is a large property holder, the in- whose judgment I have the highest respect, entertain evitable consequence must and will be distinctions in this opinion and these views. I confess I am alarmed at society. The wealth of the country will be found in the the pertinacity with which this bill is pressed forward. lesser number, and power will be more secure in the That more is expected by its friends than at first view hands of those who are intrusted with the management meets the eye, I have no doubt; and that it may change of public affairs, until the very condition of landlord the policy and power of the country is the real motive and tenant will be found to exist between the officers of that impels it. In whatever light I have been able to Government and laborers for the State. It is, in my look at this measure, to my mind it appears fraught with opinion, a perfect absurdity to suppose that the princi- | fearful events. ples of democracy and equal rights can long exist in . I have heard it often said there is a large amount of a State that is herself a large property holder. It has money in the Treasury over and above what is necessary been said that money is power, and that "power is al- to supply all the wants of the United States, and that it ways stealing from the many to the few.” And if is impolitic to permit it to remain there, because it may what money we have collected into the Treasury of the be used to increase the influence of the executive power. United States be the leaven by which the officers of this I cannot admit either the fact or reasoning to the extent Government are to be corrupted, I very much fear that urged; but my first answer is, that it ought not to have its power will be far more deleterious, and operate far been brought into the Treasury. The tariff, upon the more extensively, when divided and sent into the State payment of the national debt, should have been reduced treasuries. If the State Governments can be preserved to the wants of the Government, and should be now so pure and uncontaminated, this Government, which can reduced. I hold that I am not bound by an agreement not exist but by action of the States in their sovereign entered into by members of a prior Congress, in order capacity, cannot well become corrupt, or long remain to obtain the passage of any law. It is not only the right so. It will be brought back by the influence of the but the duty of the present, as well as any subsequent States to correct principles. The power of the States Congress, to repeal or amend such law, if in their opinion in prescribing the manner of electing the President, the public good requires it. and in their direct power in electing Senators in this There is another view which attends the accumulation body, will be sufficient to do this, although instructions of a surplus revenue in the Treasury, which, to my mind, from the constituent body to the representative here is of considerable importance, and which surplus, I bemay be disregarded. But if the State Governments lieve, will not be reduced but increased by the passage of once become corrupt, there is no possible means by the present bill. The sale of the public lands for the last which this Government can be kept pure: the fountain year has been large beyond all calculation: millions of mo. being poisoned, the stream must become of the most ney bave come into the public Treasury from that source noxious character. I hope, then, that the wealth of this only. These purchases have, in a great degree, been Government, whether acquired by force from other made for speculation alone. The facility of obtaining countries, or by fraud upon our own-a fraud in taxing money has been the cause of engaging many in this busithem more than sufficient to answer all the demands of ness, and that facility has, no doubt, been increased by the United States-will never be sent into the States: at the deposite banks discounting on the public money in least, I hope the State in which I reside will not receive their vaults; and while this is the case, speculation in it; for the very scheme is scattering broadcast through l public lands will continue, and large purchases be made
April 29, 1836.)
at the present Government price; and that price the bill amongst the States, is not only an arbitrary and unwarcontemplates in all future purchases. The money thus rantable stretch of power, but is one of those wild speclaid out will return immediately into the deposite banks,
ulative schemes into which the visionary and disappointon which new discounts will be made and new purchases ed are sometimes apt to fall. This propensity to exfollowed; and thus this bill will enable speculation to travagant speculation, into which our people are at this make the very meat it feeds on, until the whole public time rushing, as well in political as moneyed matters, domain will be found in the hands of the rich and ought, as far as possible, to be checked by the influence wealthy, to the great detriment of the States and the and operation of this Government. It is a moral cancer, oppression of the laboring classes and men of small to wbich if the cautery or the knife be not speedily apcapital.
plied, will consume every principle of patriotism and The system, then, which continues the present price political honesty in the country. The disease is deeply of the public lands, although you may distribute the seated, and its progress is, indeed, obvious to us all. I public revenue, will constantly furnish a new supply; have no hope or expectation that mild and gentle means and the temporary evil now complained of will grow will effect a cure. Strong and energetic measures must into a permanent and incurable one. The public lands be adopted; and we ought to begin bere at home. are the property, not the revenue, of the United States; Many of the streams that are pouring money into the but when converted into money, that money is revenue. / public Treasury, and swelling the amount beyond the While they remain as property, Congress has full power necessary wants of the Government, ought to be in. to cede, grant, or dispose of them in any manner, or stantly dried up; this all will admit, but the mode of for any cause or purpose that may be thought proper; effecting that desirable end creates the difficulty. but the moment you sell and convert them into money, It is our duty to apply such remedy as we think will that money is a part of the Treasury of the United come at the evil; I will suggest one. It may be deemed States; and Congress cannot, in the proper exercise of a weak and incompetent one, but it is one which bas its constitutional powers, give it away--cannot barter or
presented itself to my mind, and which my judgment sell it cannot in fact oply it to any use or obiect approves. The State which I have the honor in part to but those which are clearly within the power of Con. represent, ought, in this important matter, to know my gress, by the grants of the constitution. I am fully whole opinion, that, if in error, it may be corrected. I aware that here is the real difficulty, the disputed ques would begin with the public land, by a reduction of the tion--what are the objects which are within the power
price to at least one dollar per acre, and confine the of Congress, and upon which they can constitutionally sale to actual settlers in limited quantities, and would expend the money of the nation? We, no doubt, each not make a complete title until after three years continof us, have a rule by which to test this question of pow. uous occupancy, and a conditional forfeiture of the purer. I have long since formed one for myself, and every chase money in default of so doing. The public lands day's experience confirms me in its correctness. It is, ought to be looked to as a source of wealth belonging to that Congress have no power over any subject wbat future generations, not on account of the money they ever, where the States possess power over the same will bring, but for the population they will sustain. A subject; or, in other words, where the States have steady, industrious, contented, and fixed population, are power over a subject, Congress possess none, except it
ress possess none, except it the riches of a country. A provision of the above kind be given by the express words of the constitution, and would, in my opinion, produce that effect; a residence of even then it cannot be exercised to the injury or detri- three years would produce the blessings and attachments ment of the State power; and, in all such instances, the
of home, while the sale of the freehold, even at an ad. power of Congress is subordinate to that of the States. vanced price, would seldom be an inducement to part The only instance in which power is thus dispused, that with it, because a larger quantity of land in most cases I can now call to mind, is that of levying and collecting could not be purchased elsewhere; and thus content. direct taxes--that mode of taxation which is consid. ment would ensue, while the products of the farm would ered as different from that of duties, imposts, customs, enable the younger branches of the family to provide and excise; and where full power is given to Congress, 1 themselves a home upon the same terms. The next the States have none over the same subject. The States beneficial result would be, to check at once the fearful cannot levy war, regulate commerce, coin money, or reg. speculation in public lands that is now in progress, and ulate its value, establish post offices and post roads, or that ruinous system of borrowing that is resorted to for provide or maintain a navy; and for the very plain rea- that purpose; and those now engaged in that business son that Congress have full power over these objects. would then turn their attention and means to some other On the contrary, Congress have no power, nor can they pursuit that would advance the growth, prosperity, and rightfully, within the States, make roads or canals, or permanent wealth of the country. And last, though not internal improvements of any character, establish any least, it would dry up one of those sluices through which system of education, raise money for any State purpose, money that is not needed is constantly pouring into the or in any manner, or by any means, provide for the Treasury; and it would preserve for our children and current expenses of the State; and for a like plain rea- our children's children, even to remote generations, an son, the States have power to do all these acts. Our opportunity of acquiring a freehold on the same terms Government is so admirably formed that our citizens do | as was afforded to their fathers. But if we sell this valnot owe a divided duty; what the States have reserved, uable estate now as fast as possible, for the highest and can require of them, this Government has not the price that can be obtained, and make that and not the right to do; and what this Government has the right to settlement of the country our object, and then distribute require, the States bave entirely divested themselves of the proceeds amongst the several States, for the purpose the power of doing; and we should be the most happy of having it expended, spent, or squandered, we act the and prosperous people on earth if the different Gov-| part of an improvident spendthrift, who, having acernments, under which we live, would each confine it quired by descent a large larded estate, converts it into self to its appropriate sphere as designated and marked money as fast as possible, for the purpose of gratifying out by its framers. There would be no clashing of his vanity, or acquiring power and influence by corruppowers, nor doubt in the discharge of duties we owe. tion and fraud. Our first duty is to the State, and, when that ceases, In the next place, I would repeal the entire duties on our duty to this Government begins. The distribution all articles that are used in any manner or form in the of money, collected by the order of this Government | diet of the country; and to show its effects upon that